Rock Appreciation Day & Preview Night

Alright ladies & gents, let’s get right to it. The two types for today are WAMPUM (I know, its really a shell…), and Koroit Boulder Opal. To repeat the disclaimer from the first Rock Appreciation Day: I AM NO LAPIDARY ARTIST OR GEOLOGIST/GEMOLOGIST. All of my information comes from research and experience working with these stones, not mining or cutting them. First up is Koroit Boulder Opal….

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Koroit Boulder Opal is a specific TYPE of opal solely from the Koroit opal mining area in Queensland, Australia. Like boulder/ribbon cut turquoise, the opal is within a host rock matrix. The opal matrix itself is formed when rain containing silica minerals drizzles back down to earth and weaves itself into sedimentary rocks. After all water evaporates and all that is left is silica, the silica hardens into a gel like substance with little spheres, which is what we know as opal. It is essentially hydrated silicon dioxide. The size and distance of these tiny spheres from each other is what determines the colour of the opal. This whole “opalization” process is very mysterious even to the experts, and is generally believed to span over 1 to 10 million years for creation. Way back when, the Romans would actually use opal as a good luck charm stone…

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Below are past commissions or sold Opal pieces…

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These last two are my favourite Koroit opals to date~

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The rest below are either available stones, or pieces still in the Etsy shop (00 gauge Koroit opal plugs coming to the Plugs shop soon! http://www.GaugedbyStasia.Etsy.com). 

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This first photo is prime Koroit opal, just for looking and not for sharing!

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WAMPUM is something I’ve covered before. I adore it. Not just because the intensity of the colour is so beautiful for a natural shell, but because I am a nerd and love all things with deep mythological roots. The two main origin stories for wampum among the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) are extraordinary. A short version of the Seneca Iroquois version can be found written by author Harriet Maxwell Converse. She wrote the story and other myths directly from notes she took while spending time with Seneca council members in the early 1900’s. 

Wampum is carved from the quahog clam shell found on the shores of the East Coast. If you don’t know about it, but have heard the word before, you may have been told in was like “Native American Indian money”. It was only thought to be used financially because the Europeans assumed so from the importance the Natives bestowed upon it. Later on trading wampum for European goods became common. The carved wampum has actually been used for hundreds of years as trade, or for treaties. It could be strung into beaded strings called “condolence strings” for a mourned one, or expertly beaded into belts-famously known and seen in many museums- for peace or war treaties between tribes. White coloured shells represented peace, purple represented war. Although used by many different Woodlands (Eastern) tribes, it is most famously seen used by the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee). The Iroquois Confederacy consists of the 5 tribes of the eastern longhouse-one tribe for each beam, or one tribe for each part of the “Hiawatha belt”. These symbols also refer to the geological locations of the tribes. The tribes are (in the Europeanized names and spelling): Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk. The abbreviation is SCOOM. The sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, was later added to the Confederacy when they came into the region. Wampum can be replicated in glass imitation form. It is what is used most often nowadays when creating replica pieces.  It has gotten harder and harder to find true Native wampum carvers anymore, and I know of only 3 existing in Massachusetts. The rounded cabochons and chip beads in the photos below were carved by Native Mi’kmaq artist Mark Changing Bear.

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Below are sold pieces or past commissions:

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Most of the gauged wampum pieces can still be purchased at http://www.GaugedbyStasia.Etsy.com . The wampum stray pieces are up for grabs for custom work~

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PREVIEW

A few new pieces will be hitting the main Etsy shop, http://www.TheStrayArrow.Etsy.com, AND the Gauged shop on Monday/Tuesday. 

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NEW ADDITIONS INCLUDE: 00 gauge (10mm) Koroit Boulder Opal plugs, 4 gauge rutilated golden quartz plugs, 1/2″ (roughly 13mm) snowflake obsidian plugs, CUSTOM 10 gauge rainbow moonstone plugs, The Arsenic and Old Lace ring with 14k gold fill droplets, green Kingman mine turquoise drop necklace, and the Along The Dark Shores turquoise and wampum bangle bracelet. Not pictured but also on the way….more turquoise drop necklaces, and some surprises!

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Recently a fellow artist was able to give a mini presentation of her work. You can see some photographs of it and a video of her here on her blog:

http://www.torynova.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/drum-roll-please-cue-illustration/

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As all creative processes come from some spark of inspiration, I’d like to share a little snippet of a consistent influence. While constantly looking at new art, the ever growing tumble of talent people put out into the world, nothing gets me going as something old to groove to. Any new music I can get my hands on, I can. Lately, I’ve been filling my ears with the Vaccines, Holly Golightly and The Brokeoffs, Alessi’s Ark, and my old favourites. Here’s one of them-hope all of you give your old sparks the attention and credit they deserve!

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Check back on Monday & Tuesday for shop updates!

xx Stray Arrow

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An Ode To The Earlobe…

This post is dedicated solely for those with stretched ears. All of these new pairs will be hitting the Gauged by Stasia shop throughout the day tomorrow…

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Check the store tomorrow for these and a few more pairs!

xx Stray Arrow

For Those with Stretched Ears

~*This post is solely for those with stretched ears*~

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A bunch of new goodies will be hitting the Gauged by Stasia Etsy shop this coming Monday afternoon! Below is a sneak preview of *most* (not all!) of the lovelies to come….

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THE ORNATE BORDER GROUP

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Also! for the *MADE TO ORDER* category:  “Warm Hearts” style in 10 gauge and 2 gauge smooth rainbow moonstones…

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Lastly, we have “The Ochre Dangles“: 4 gauge darkened scalloped tunnel plugs featuring dangling swarovski crystals and olive fresh water pearls. “Cold Feather Tunnel Dangles”: featuring hand sawed sterling silver feathers with etched detailing and faceted cold labradorite gemstones on 14 gauge small hoops!

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Catch these and a few more styles Monday afternoon!

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xx Stray Arrow

Holiday of Hearts, a Moment of Honesty

So to be perfectly honest, I’m always a little resigned to create new goodies for Valentine’s. Mainly because I don’t understand it, but also because I automatically dump all heart related objects into the “cutesy” category of aesthetics.  Yes, they can sometimes be made adorable, but personally I always see a “cheese factor”. So, I started sawing some hearts for my plain silver heart studs that have always been made to order in the shop….and….realized that even if I’m not gaga over the outcome, they are a REALLY fun shape to saw out. They’re up there with stars and skulls. I’ve always liked all things (not just jewelry) with an organic feel. When you have a heart thats hand sawed, or filed, or some other process that is handmade, I feel that a little bit of the cheese is taken away. It’s got an edge. It’s not symmetrical, it’s not laser cut, plated, stenciled or a template. It has a little bit of life infused into it and it is unique. 

That being said, I’ve created a few lower priced items for Valentine’s Day. We’ll see how they do, they may even become permanent “made to order” items. These will all be added to the Etsy shop sometime tomorrow night!

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Stone wise, we have a few new goodies for use and custom ordering. For lovers of all things classic, PEARLS! Fresh water pearls in off-white and peachy-pink! Also new are 6mm faceted *green* amethyst gemstones and stunning deep 4mm opaque rubies! More turquoise and other gems will be acquired at the Tucson Gem Show next month!

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New pairs that have been added to the Gauged by Stasia Etsy shop earlier today also retain a nice and classic feel…

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IN THE WORKS:

Turquoise Wind Direction Plugs, Thunder Bird Necklace, and more lovelies, in the shops next week!

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xx Stray Arrow

Kingman Mine Conquest

That’s right! 64 mini natural Kingman Mine turquoise cabochons are now in my treasure chest. All are currently up for grabs! These tiny sweeties are PERFECT for earrings-gauged or otherwise. I’ve matched up 23 possible pairs. The leftovers can either be matched by you, or used as mini turquoise stackers….BEHOLD:

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A few new goodies will be hitting the main Etsy shop within a day or two!

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xx Stray Arrow

Digit Adornments and New Stones…

Its preview night time! The new goodies below will hit the Etsy shops at various times on Friday…

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First, a ring featuring a beautiful watery variscite from Australia (Not Utah!). The lovely gem features a bubbled white pattern that, when paired with the gold fill bezel, gives off a nice and dreamy tropical feel….

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The bezel has a high polish, while the band remains stamped, patinaed, and sanded for a nice satin flash. 

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Next, another take on the “Dark Water Ring”. This ring is in the same style as the previous Royston Mine Turquoise Dark Water Ring, with a larger stone set in a horizontal oval position. The sterling has been patina darkened, with a polished flash around the bezel to frame the stone. The ring band is stamped with feathers, glazing the surface of dark waters…

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The following are two of my current favourites. I adore green turquoise, and solid green colours are hard to come by! These two lovelies are of a set of 3 green turquoise stone rings that will hit the shop Friday, all in different sizes. First off, the “Turquoise Home” ring, featuring a ribbon cut Royston Mine stone shaped like a house!

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This fatty has a very wide band and is extremely comfy to wear. 

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The second green turquoise ring holds a very high quality stone I have been hoarding for a few years from the Crow Springs Mine. The colour is a very intense grass green, thus the name, “Green Grasses Ring”. The molten rose gold fill droplets on the ring shank and intentional rose fire scale on the ring band combined with the green have me longing for spring….when the weather is still cold before the blooming period sets in…

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With all of this love of turquoise and stones going on, I recently realized all I have been wearing lately are silver bands. Sometimes, all someone wants is a little unique spin on an everyday piece. With that in mind, I’ve started making little cigar band sterling rings. These lovelies are called “Friendship Rings”. Crossed arrows are a symbol of friendship, so these make the perfect gifts  and have a vintage feel to them. Soon available in darkly oxidized or oxidized and sanded patinas. 

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For the Gauged Folk…

Why not spread the vintage inspired love?

Made to order, in any gauge size…

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Of course, more turquoise! These babies are FACETED. YES. THEY ACTUALLY FLASH AND SPARKLE. I am enamoured with these faceted *stabilized* turquoise from Arizona. Currently made in a 0 gauge, I have one more pair of these that can be made into any other size…

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That’s all for now. Coming soon in the near future (in the new year!) we have more turquoise plugs, gemstone plugs, and dangles for tunnels (gagagagold!) on the way.

For the main jewel shop we have turtles, more turquoise drop stackers, and a couple very ornate Romantics line pieces in the works.

Have a grand New Year (if this is the New Years you celebrate). Check back to the Shops Friday!

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xx Stray Arrow

Gem Show and New Work Preview…

Well, I went to the gem show with the intention to restrain myself from buying too many sparkley goods, and have succeeded! Only three new cabs this weekend…

one a beautiful light and white dotted variscite stone, one stunning red fossilized dinosaur bone, and one big fat flashy labradorite…

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New goodies for the Gauged folk will hit the shop Wednesday:

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New goodies for the main Etsy shop…

mini turquoise drop stackers from the Royston mine. These are perfect for turquoise lovers looking for an everyday ring or something on the less expensive side!

Other new turquoise is a large ring featuring a fantastic natural Nacozari turquoise of  a brilliantly deep blue…

Also coming soon is a new edition to the Romantics Line, for winter…

“The Evergreen Necklace”

featuring a snowy moss agate and two teardrop rainbow moonstone gems. The main pendant is set in a pebbled piece of recycled pure silver…

Lastly is the “Winter Lace” ring, featuring a collector’s slice of Calico Lace Agate with snowflake like orbs in the background.

Keep a look out in the shops on Wednesday!

xx Stray Arrow

Royston Conquest in the Treasure Chest….

Isn’t it wonderful how there are always new goodies to share? I’ve recently acquired a vast amount of beautiful, natural, turquoise from the Royston Mine, Southwest…

~Royston Turquoise Mine~

Royston is actually a district that contains 3 different mines in Nevada. Royston mines, along with the Pilot Mountain mine, are known for their extreme color variations. Blues, greens, rusty bronze browns and dark colors spin together with or without matrixes to make these lovely stones look like landscapes. This rare turquoise is still being mined today and continues to be one of the most popular.

***all cabs below are great quality, no pits,

and currently all are up for grabs!***

for extreme stone detail-double click on a picture. please excuse the working hands…

this lovely especially is of very high quality, and features a stunning colouring and patterns:

the darlings below are great for matching (earrings or gauges):

The Royston Mine is similar to the pilot Mountain, Crow Springs/Bluebird, and Ajax Mines in that they all have some serious variation in colours, patterns, and quality. They are all roughly around the same area and the more variation on one stone, the more desired.

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Other new turquoise conquests have led me to matching pairs! These NATURAL BEAUTIES are from the White Buffalo Mine in Tonopah Nevada, and the Nacozari Mine in Sonora, Mexico. The round Nacozari pair would be perfect for any gauges 00 gauge or larger, or just huge statement earrings….all of these pairs are perfect for dangling earrings or hoops, see examples below that are in the GaugedbyStasia Etsy shop,

the White Buffalo hoops have already sold and are being worn with love ❤

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In other news, two new pieces have been added to the Shop today~

a sweet little pair of wampum studs, and a new necklace featuring wampum and Kings Manassa Mine turquoise…

the “West of the Woodlands” necklace

a blending of Woodlands Native (wampum) and Southwestern Native (turquoise)…

~*more jewelry coming next weekend*~

xx StrayArrow

“Low on the Sand, and Loud on the Stone”…

Before I post new work to be added to the Etsy shops tomorrow, and recently completed work,  Etsy has made a few changes to their hosting websites where my shops are. They have recently added the option to change a Shop Name. While my shop for the gauged folks will remain “GaugedbyStasia”, my shop name for my StasiaSalvucci account will now be “TheStrayArrow”, permanently. All bookmarks and URL’s will be forwarded to http://www.TheStrayArrow.Etsy.com

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Tomorrow, in The Stray Arrow shop…

a new addition to the Grave Series, featuring sweet little silver and copper Momento Mori studs:

Also new, an addition to the Stormy Night miniseries in the form of a splendidly fat ring of substantial size and weight, inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson

This lovely features a square flashly labradorite gemstone flanked by two hand sawed sterling black birds. The back is adorned with a raven and the quote..

“SILENCE FELL WITH THE WAKING BIRD”

from Part 1 of Tennyson’s “Maud; A Monodrama”…

Come into the garden, Maud,
      For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
      I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
      And the musk of the rose is blown.
   For a breeze of morning moves,
      And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
      In a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
      To faint in his light, and to die. 
   All night have the roses heard
      The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr’d
      To the dancers dancing in tune;
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
      And a hush with the setting moon.
   I said to the lily, “There is but one
      With whom she has heart to be gay.
When will the dancers leave her alone?
      She is weary of dance and play.”
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
      And half to the rising day;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone
      The last wheel echoes away.
   I said to the rose, “The brief night goes
      In babble and revel and wine.
O young lord-lover, what sighs are those,
      For one that will never be thine?
But mine, but mine,” so I sware to the rose,
      “For ever and ever, mine.”
   And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
      As the music clash’d in the hall;
And long by the garden lake I stood,
      For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
      Our wood, that is dearer than all;
   From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
      That whenever a March-wind sighs
He sets the jewel-print of your feet
      In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
      And the valleys of Paradise.
   The slender acacia would not shake
      One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake
      As the pimpernel dozed on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
      Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
      They sigh’d for the dawn and thee.
   Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,
      Come hither, the dances are done,
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,
      Queen lily and rose in one;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls,
      To the flowers, and be their sun.
   There has fallen a splendid tear
      From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
      She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;”
      And the white rose weeps, “She is late;”
The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;”
      And the lily whispers, “I wait.”
   She is coming, my own, my sweet;
      Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
      Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
      Had I lain for a century dead,
Would start and tremble under her feet,
      And blossom in purple and red
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New to the gauged shop tomorrow…
one pair of 10 gauge faceted rainbow moonstone ornate plugs
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one pair of 4 gauge Stormy Night plugs with black pyrite fool’s gold
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and these:
12 gauge dangles for tunnels that feature a MATCHING PAIR of natural, genuine,
White Buffalo Turquoise
These lovelies have been oxidized, brushed and filed for serious contrast and are a comfortable weight so that they will swing in the most amusing arc, and still not weigh your ears down in the slightest…
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Recently completed is a necklace made with a turquoise I had posted in recent months…
featuring a museum quality webbed piece of natural Pilot Mountain Mine Turquoise, a cabochon of Kings Manassa Mine Turquoise, and four beautifully micro-faceted genuine emeralds…
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check the shops out tomorrow (Wednesday) for new goodies!
xx Stray Arrow

The Fire Still Burns…

Not only do I have new jewelry pieces to share before they hit the Etsy shops on Tuesday, but I also have a short story for you all, which will be at the end of this post….

I have been banging out made to order items and commissions, while at the same time making a few new pieces in time for Samhain (All Hallows Eve/Halloween). As always, silver skulls are aplenty. Now, I am currently working on expanding my “Stormy Night” Black Bird series in the Gauged by Stasia shop. These feature gem and silver plugs with 3D black crows or ravens that spread their wings from the gems. This style will also be on a ring within the next few weeks…

Story Night Part Two. 00 gauge. Larvikite gems.

New to the Jewelery shop are more bronze skull dangles, and a new series…

The new series is “The Grave Series”, based on Old Puritan gravestones in New England. Many of these graves would feature skulls flanked by angel wings at stone headers, with the phrase “Momento Mori”. This is a modern term for R.I.P.=Rest In Peace, and literally means, Remember Your Mortality. This doesn’t have to be interpreted cryptically. Momento Mori could just be a little boost to appreciate all and everything. The Puritan gravestones were all carved by hand back in the day, and each one has a unique (some goofy) expression. Each piece of this new mini series will have its own personality, hopefully you can find one that suites your own….

currently there are one pair of plugs, and this necklace in the series. Coming soon are more plugs, necklaces and rings….

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IN OTHER NEWS:

My artist friend Tory, of Tory Nova Couture,has recently made some new goodies for Halloween as well. These are just too adorable and delectable not to share! Illustrating different skeletons and monsters she has created the perfect quick costume idea: unique and humorous quality pull over masks. These cuties come in kid and adult sizes, perfect to snag you the “coolest grown up” award! These are illustrated 360 degrees…check them out in her ETSY shop : http://www.torynova.etsy.com

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Well folks, I believe its story time…

As I have posted before, “Atsenhaienton” is translated to “The Fire Still Burns” in Mohawk Iroquois. This is the name of a mini jewelry line I had started with a pair of dangles featuring genuine wampum. From these dangles sparked interest, and now one pair of plugs has been made in this style, another is in the works, and talk of a possible Atsenhaienton necklace may come into being.

Each piece of this collection highlights a little shard of a history. Whether it be your own or another’s, histories and mythologies can be how we define ways of life and being and seem to always stay with us.

From this inspiration, I have made a ring based on one of my favourite Iroquois tales (specifically Seneca Iroquois, or Haudenosaunee). Please note that although I am an enthusiast, I am not a scholar or…known for my accurate spelling. The names in this tale are phonetic, and are approximate…

Ga-oh, Spirit of the Winds, chose his aids from the terrestrial because of their knowledge of the earth; and when his reverberating call had ceased its thunderous echoes, he opened his north gate wide across the sky and called Ya-o-gah, the Bear.

Lumbering over the mountains as he pushed them from his path, Ya-o-gah, the bulky bear, who had battled the boisterous winds as he came, took his place at Ga-oh’s gate and waited the mission of his call. Said Ga-oh, “Ya-o-gah, you are strong, you can freeze the waters with your cold breath; in your broad arms you can carry the wild tempests, and clasp the whole earth when I bid you destroy. I will place you in my far north, there to watch the herd of my winter winds when I loose them in the sky. You shall be the North Wind. Enter your home”. And the bear lowered his head for the leash with which Ga-oh bound him, and submissively took his place in the north sky.

In a gentler voice Ga-oh called Ne-o-ga, the Fawn, and a soft breeze as of the summer, crept over the sky; the air grew fragrant with the odor of flowers, and there were voices as of babbling brooks telling the secrets of the summer to the tune of birds, as Ne-o-ga came proudly lifting her head.

Said Ga-oh, “You walk with the summer sun,and know all its paths; you are gentle,and kind as the sunbeam, and will rule my flock of the summer winds in peace. You shall be the South Wind, Bend your head while I leash you to the sky, for you are swift, and might return from me to the earth”. And the gentle fawn followed Ga-oh to his great gate which opens the south sky.

Again, Ga-oh trumpeted a shrill blast, and all the sky seemed threatening; an ugly darkness crept into the clouds that sent them whirling in circles of confusion; a quarrelsome, shrieking voice snarled through the air, and with a sound as of great claws tearing the heavens into rifts, Da-jo-ji, the Panther, sprang to the gate.

Said Ga-oh, “You are ugly and fierce, and can fight the strong storms; you can climb the high mountains,and tear down the forests; you can carry the whirlwind on your strong back, and toss the great sea waves high in the air, and snarl at the tempests if they stray from my gate. You shall be the West Wind. Go to the west sky, where even the Sun will hurry to hide when you howl your warning to the night”. And Da-jo-ji, dragging his leash as he stealthily crept along, followed Ga-oh to the furthermost west sky.

Yet Ga-oh rested not. The earth was flat, and in each of its four corners he must have an assistant. One corner yet remained, and again Ga-oh’s strong blast shook the earth. And there arose a moan like the calling of a lost mate, the sky shivered in a cold rain, the whole earth clouded in mist, a crackling sound as of a great horns crashing through the forest trees dinned the air, and O-yan-do-ne, the Moose, stood stamping his hoofs at the gate.

Said Ga-oh, as he strung a strong leash around his neck, “Your breath blows the mist, and can lead the cold rains; your horns spread wide, and can push back the forests to widen the path for my storms as with your swift hoofs you race with my winds. You shall be the East Wind, and blow your breath to chill the young clouds as they float through the sky”. And, said Ga-oh, as he led him to the east sky, “Here you shall dwell forevermore.”

Thus, with his assistants, does Ga-oh control his storms. And although he must ever remain in his sky lodge, his will is supreme, and his faithful assistants will obey.

All text of this tale was taken verbatim from a version written and translated by Harriet Maxwell Converse (Ya-ie-wa-noh). Converse lived  and studied with Seneca in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.

This ring is simply made with sterling silver, patina, and a beautiful little round wampum featuring both its purple and white colouring. Four arrows have been stamped to represent the four wind directions. The ring band is stamped with “Atsenhaienton”…

check back to the Etsy shops Tuesday for these new items, and more…

and…coming soon…

THIS GUY:

xx Stray Arrow